Parents as Partners
At Cook Children's, we believe in a family-centered approach to health care. We know that when a child is sick or injured, it affects the whole family. Because families play an important role in a child's recovery and healing, we partner with families to provide the best care possible for kids.
Our Parents as Partners program is a family-centered care initiative, designed to work with families who are being cared for at Cook Children's. This program provides support to patients and families and strives to improve the safety and quality of the care provided. When it comes to the family experience, our parent advisors are the experts on the health care experience. Parent advisors provide us with the parents' perspective, sharing their experiences with us and offering suggestions to ensure that our communications and interactions with our families and patients are always improving.
Helping provide the best family-centered care
As the parent of a child with special medical needs, you're uniquely qualified to offer doctors, caregivers, administrators, program planners and policy makers information on what works for you and your family—and what doesn't. Parents who choose to get involved and "give back" say that their input has enormous benefits for themselves, doctors and caregivers, programs and especially the kids.
Some of the ways the Parents as Partners program can help:
- Partnerships between patient families.
- Serving with other parents and staff on councils, committees and boards.
- Providing feedback to Cook Children's.
- Participating in community events.
- Sharing personal stories and perspective to other families and staff.
- Advocating in the community for children's health issues.
Partnerships between patient families
- Parent liaisons
Parent volunteers that are assigned to a specific unit and come in on scheduled days to visit with families. They provide a friendly welcoming face, general information (resources, amenities, etc.), mentoring, support and encouragement to all new admissions on that unit and notify staff of any needs they may have.
- Parent mentors
These specially trained parent volunteers assist newly diagnosed families or families with similar conditions or issues by providing understanding, support and encouragement from someone who has "walked in their shoes."
Serving Cook Children's, families, and the community
Our Family Advisory Council consists of parents and staff that meet monthly/quarterly to review hospital policies, procedures, initiate suggested changes and provide general feedback. These members are referred and nominated by staff. For more information, visit our Family Advisory Council page.
Family ambassadors represent Cook Children's in the community or at special/fundraising events by sharing their personal experiences.
Family representatives participate on a committee or board representing the family perspective and provide constructive feedback on a monthly basis at scheduled meeting times.
Parent panels share their stories and experiences in a more educational setting and answer questions from the participants.
The Parents as Partners program also helps to facilitate the various support groups for patient families. You can learn more about the support groups available for parents, parents and families, here.
Interested in joining Parents as Partners?
Joining is easy:
- Simply click here to open the volunteer form
- Fill out the application
- Indicate that you're interested in Parents as Partners
- Click the green button and you're on your way